How To Travel 10 Days in a Carry On Suitcase

I’ve made it a mission to put my minimalist lifestyle to the test when it comes to traveling. In the past, I’ve been known to overpack even on the shortest getaway. So, when I realized I would be traveling 10 days for my destination wedding AND 10 days for our honeymoon soon after, I figured this was the perfect time for such a challenge. Not to mention, we have to haul my wedding gown on the flight as well. By limiting myself to merely a carry on suitcase or small duffle bag, I learned it is possible to travel lightly & still have plenty. Here are a few things to consider when packing for your next adventure:

Check The Weather

One of the hugest culprits in packing heavy is preparing for all kinds of weather. Even on the most sunny vacations, I was known to still pack a rain jacket [ just in case]. Now, I try to trust my weather app & only pack according to the predicted weather. If an unexpected rain shower does occur, for instance – I can always purchase a jacket or umbrella at my destination. Naturally, I find warmer climates to be easier to pack for than colder destinations. So, when it came to preparing for our destination wedding in the South & our Maui honeymoon, I was lucky I didn’t need to pack any heavy boots or anything.

Plan Your Outfits / Activities

Although spontaneity is fun, I find when it comes to longer vacations / trips; having an itinerary of sorts is very helpful. Base your outfits & clothing to what you plan to do on your getaway. Our destination wedding for instance consisted of a lot of visiting & relaxing before the big day. I was smart in shipping a few items ahead of time like my rehearsal dinner dress, veil & the bridemaid’s morning of gifts. In all honesty, the goal was to be an outfit repeater that week. And since I was staying at a family home, I knew I could do laundry if need be. In terms of the honeymoon, I knew we were going to a luau, so I made sure to pack a tropical maxi dress. But for the most part, I knew Hawaii would consist of lots of bikinis & outdoor wear. Weeks before either of theses trips, I hung all the outfits up on my clothing rack. This allowed me to keep track of what I was bringing & prevent me from making any impulse purchases or overpack. I also kept in mind, I would probably do some shopping while we were in Maui anyway.

Wear the Bulkiest Items on the Airplane

This is my most favorite hack when it comes to packing light. My airplane attire always consists of leggings, a tank top or t-shirt, sneakers & a jacket or sweatshirt. Shoes & hoodies are two of the most bulky items to pack in the suitcase. Even though sandals can be easier to take on and off at TSA, I’m always grateful to have extra space for other necessities in my suitcase.

Packing Cubes vs. Rolling

I actually have never used packing cubes but have noticed from other people, they are VERY helpful in condensing space. I on the other hand, love rolling my clothing & or putting certain categories in zipblock bags. The way you organize & store your items in the suitcase makes all the difference. The reason I like the zipblock bag method is because I can release the air from the bag to make it very flat. I will admit this hack can seem rather wasteful so if you have any reusable methods [ besides packing cubes ] that do the same affect, let me know.

Travel Size Is Your Bestfriend

When it comes to makeup products or toiletries, having the smaller counterpart is the smartest move. Not to mention, TSA has certain regulations anyway. As a makeup lover, I try to only pack my smaller eyeshadow palettes during travels such as these. And in some cases, I will invest in travel size products like setting spray, shampoo, body / face wash & even mascara. Every space counts so you want to be efficient. Even when choosing purses for vacations, I lean towards small cross body styles or even clutches.

When in Doubt, Leave It At Home

I mentioned this in my older packing guide, which you can read here. But if you are questioning any item too hard, chances are you don’t need it. Really ask yourself why you want to bring / wear something before packing it. I can’t tell you how many times I would bring more clothing than necessary & only wear a quarter of the items. And if you DO end up needing something or forgetting something, you can always purchase it at your destination.

Choose Clothing Pieces That Are Versatile

If you already have a capsule wardrobe like me, you are already there in having clothing pieces that pair in multiple ways. For example, I packed a light grey t-shirt that I could wear with black shorts, white shorts, denim shorts or even jeans. Always start with your basics & work from there. Any additional or unique items can be added later. When it came to the honeymoon, I knew I wanted a few unique & tropical looking maxi dresses for dinners or the luau. I didn’t go overboard with this idea though & only packed two – a black & purple flower maxi dress I’ve had for a few years & a white floral maxi dress I found on Amazon.

Check Out This Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: I Tried Project 333 & This Is How It Went

Conclusion:

When seeing the world, you don’t want to feel weighed down by stuff. Although it can feel rather challenging at first, overtime it will become second nature. You’ll enjoy returning home to less laundry to do & you’ll quickly realize you don’t need much to enjoy yourselves. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to the point all you need is a backpack.

Where are you traveling to next?

Up for an even bigger challenge? watch me pack all of these items in a backpack in this IG REEL

-B

Post-Breakup Decluttering: What to Toss After a Relationship Ends

There are the gifts—from birthdays, holidays, or those random “just because” days. That t-shirt of theirs you like to sleep in. The toiletries they kept at your place for nights they stayed over. Photos—both physical and on your phone. There’s a paper trail; a collection of love letters, ticket stubs from the concerts you went to, birthday cards. We amass a great deal of stuff over the course of a relationship. But what happens when it ends? How do you declutter after a breakup?

Before I go further, though, thanks so much to Bee for having me here! I’m Katie, but you might know me as the dating b. I write a lifestyle and relationship blog called The Dating B*tch. Don’t let the name fool you, though! My main focus is on helping people improve all aspects of their relationships—including the one they have with themselves.

After a breakup, your relationship with yourself can take a major hit. It’s important to take care of your physical and emotional wellbeing. Part of that self-care can come in the form of decluttering. So, today, I’m sharing my advice on decluttering after a breakup.

Related Read: 7 Ways to Deal with a Breakup

Why You Should Declutter After a Breakup

Even if you’re not a minimalist, it’s a good idea to do a little decluttering sesh if you’re going through a breakup. Here are 3 reasons why a post-breakup cleanse is so important:

1. It Gives You a Sense of Control

Breakups can really leave people feeling anxious and uncertain. Unless you were the one who ended the relationship, you probably didn’t want to break up. It was completely out of your control. That’s a hard thing to deal with. We like to be in control of our own lives and futures, especially when it comes to love and romance. But, if someone ends a relationship you wanted to stay in, that decision was out of your hands. Being broken up with is a passive activity.

The act of decluttering on the other hand, is active. So, by doing a little post-breakup cleaning, you’re putting yourself back in the driver’s seat of your life.

2. It’s Empowering & Proactive

Taking an active approach to your own healing journey can help you feel more empowered. When you go through a breakup, it’s normal to want to stay in bed and wallow. You know you need to work on “self-care” and “healing” and “moving forward,” but heartbreak can make anyone a procrastinator. While you may not be ready to start an exercise routine or get back into the dating field, you can probably do a little decluttering. Doing that will help you feel more productive which can help you heal faster.

3. It Can Help Your Mental Health

Your physical space is strongly tied to your mental and emotional health. If you have a lot of clutter, you tend to feel more disorganized. By getting rid of some of your relationship clutter, and possibly doing some light cleaning while you’re at it, it will help you feel happier and less anxious.

Related Read: 10 Ways to Practice Self-Love (Even When You Don’t Feel Like It) 

Steps for Decluttering After a Breakup

When you hear the phrase “post-breakup decluttering,” I bet you’ve got an image of burning everything your ex ever gave you. But that’s not how you should approach it. Here’s what to do instead:

1. Get Rid of the Paper Trail

I’m not talking about the love letters or the sentimental ticket stubs you kept. Rather, the electronic paper trail. The hundreds of text messages and photos you’ve got saved on your phone. Now, I totally understand wanting to hold on to the pictures; they’re a part of your life and history, and one day you may want to look at them again. So, for that, go ahead and send them to your Google Drive. But you need to delete the texting chain and all the pictures on your phone. What you don’t need is a way of re-examining everything to see if you can determine what went wrong, which is what you’ll want to do if you can re-read all their old texts.  

2. Sort Through the “Stuff”

For me, clearing out my phone was always the hardest part. The next part is way easier. Sort through all the physical stuff. In one pile, you can put their things; their toothbrush, deodorant, the extra clothes they left at your place. Anything that was strictly theirs. Next, the sentimental stuff; letters, the t-shirt you sleep in, the framed photos, the keepsakes from dates or vacations. And finally, the gifts they’ve gotten you.  

3. Toss What You Don’t Need

This is going to be subjective, and if there’s nothing you feel you can actually throw away, don’t worry. You don’t have to. But if there’s anything you can get rid of (think, their spare toothbrush that they probably won’t want back), this is where you throw it out.

4. Box Up the Rest

Everything else can be boxed up. If there’s anything you ex will want or need back, put that together in a separate box. Eventually, you’ll need to return it to them, but for now, just pack it up. The rest of the stuff, the gifts and sentimental items, should also be packed up. Again, you don’t need to physically get rid of everything, but you do need to put it where you won’t see it on a daily basis.  

5. Celebrate Yourself

Whether you did a lot of cleaning and organizing or just threw a few things together in an afternoon, it’s not easy to declutter after a breakup. It’s a symbolic act of moving forward so take a minute to celebrate yourself for taking that first step.
Thanks again to Bee for letting me write this guest post! For more on dating, relationships, and personal growth, check out my blog at www.datingbitch.com.

Spring Clothing Essentials: My Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2022

* This post is not sponsored & all links are not affiliated *

I’ve condensed my wardrobe quite a bit these last few months. As someone who tries to live a more simple & clutter free life, I felt like a closet declutter was well overdue. Check out my 30 Items You Don’t Need in Your Wardrobe to get some decluttering inspiration. If you are familiar with Courtney Carver’s book & minimalist challenge, Project 333 – she talks about having less clothing to choose from will allow you to let go of decision fatigue & realize you don’t need tons of items to feel like you have plenty to wear. Today, I wanted to inspire you & share with you my own capsule wardrobe & the spring clothing essentials I recommend. Over the years, I’ve learned it’s important to have a strong collection of basics as they are the bones to your outfits. From there, you can add a few unique pieces to express your own style / personality. Without further ado, here is my spring capsule wardrobe for 2022…

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You Might Also Like: I Tried Project 333 In a Pandemic & This Is How It Went

A Crisp White T-shirt

In the spring, I always like to make sure I have one new white t-shirt. Most of the time, I get either one or two seasons out of a white t-shirt, & need to replace it after that. Currently, I have two styles of white t-shirts- one basic crew neck ribbed t-shirt from the A New Day brand at Target & a longer white t-shirt from The Loft that has shorter sleeves that are in between a t-shirt & tank. It’s important to pick styles that work for your body type.

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Other Neutral T-shirts to add variety…

I’m a huge fan of neutrals. Along with a crisp white t-shirt, I also have a black version of the A New Day brand, a grey t-shirt from J crew & a navy blue t-shirt from the Universal thread brand at Target. Most colored items are in a more muted / neutral color palette. Some other great options include – blush pink, olive green, beige, camel, or brown.

Variety of Styles & Textures

Within those tops, make sure you have a variety of styles & textures. As much as I love a basic t-shirt -I’ve learned having a few silk blouses, bodysuits & even light nits expand the verticality of an outfit. In the spring especially – the weather can be all of the place. So, some days, I’m still wearing sweaters or cardigans to keep warm. For example, in my specific capsule wardrobe, I have this mid length grey cardigan from The Loft that is light weight but can keep my shoulders & arms warm on those brisk days. I also LOVE having a white, black & grey bodysuit in my wardrobe because of the countless ways you can style these items. You can dress them up for a night out on the weekends & also pair it with a blazer for workdays. When I was decluttering my wardrobe, I noticed I want to add a few more button downs & flannels [ as I have none at the moment].

Pops of Florals

I recently added a floral long sleeve top from Loft to add a bit of spring vibes to my wardrobe. Although for the most part, I stick with neutrals & basics – I like having a few unique pieces here and there.

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A Good Fitting Pair of Jeans

My favorite brand of jeans are the Topshop Jamie jeans. I have them in dark wash, light wash & black. I personally have gotten away from white jeans [ but if you enjoy that look – it’s also a great shade for the spring time].

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Faux Leather

To add a bit of spice to your wardrobe, I recommend a pair of black faux leather pants or leggings. In my capsule wardrobe, I have a pair of black faux leather leggings from Abercrombie. They really turn a basic look more sexy & unique. I’ve worn them with heels & a silk blouse for date night & also with ankle boots & a sweater for a family dinner.

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Mules, Sandals & Sneakers

I’ve been wanting to build my shoe collection this year. I think there are a few spring staples that would create a multitude of outfits. My Sam Edelman white sneakers have been my favorite for every season.

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In the spring, they pair nicely with long maxi dresses, jeans & shorts. Some other great essentials are neutral mules & sandals. I have two pairs of Sam Edelman sandals in brown & black that I wear constantly in the spring time.

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Maxi or Midi Dresses

I typically save shorter sundresses for the summer but in the spring, I love wearing maxi dresses or mid length dresses – especially if they are floral in pattern. I’ve considered trying the trend of wearing nits on top of my dresses. In my capsule wardrobe, I have a few maxi dresses – one white with blue flowers [ very Santorini esque style ] & this lavender one with yellow flowers I want to wear on Easter. As a minimalist, I still love experimenting with colors & patterns. And the longer length of these dresses still keep me warm during those more chilly days.

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Bright Long Sleeves

Since spring can be a rather transitioning season with the weather. I love still wearing longer sleeved tops & knits in the spring. But to brighten up my look after a cold, long winter – I have added a pink sweater t-shirt from Zara & a coral sweater from the brand A New Day at Target. I also still love wearing my beige long sleeves that I wear in the fall in winter in the warmer months too.

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Cardigans

These are essential during the spring because they are great layer pieces on top of t-shirts & tanks – especially in the evenings as it get’s colder. You can dress them up or even wear them around the house along with lounge / athleisure wear.

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Follow me on Twitter to keep up with my posts & intentional living tips.

-B